After numerous changes to the squad, Celtic started the game off with a controlled, calm approach. The new look front line tried pressing Dundee by getting the ball into wide areas, although nothing viable came of it.
The first real chance of the game came in the tenth minute when a slick move into the box by Griffiths resulted in a quick one-two only for the striker to then hit the post. Eight minutes after hitting the woodwork Celtic should have been ahead when Rogic missed a complete sitter from twelve yards blasting the ball over the crossbar.
After so much Celtic pressure with Dundee sitting in, the Dees nearly took the lead after being awarded a free-kick. With some unsure defending from the set piece, Tom Hately nearly put the visitors in front. After this the game opened up, with chances coming for both Celtic and Dundee.
Eventually, the deadlock was broken when Celtic were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box after a shocking challenge from ex-hoops hero Darren O’Dea which should have saw red. The resulting free-kick was converted excellently by Leigh Griffiths grabbing his twelfth goal of the season. Concern was expressed by the Celtic fans when Tom Rogic limped off due to the challenge to be replaced by Callum McGregor. We understand the Australian left Celtic Park in protective boot.
Ten minutes after the interval Celtic doubled their lead with a well placed strike from Nir Bitton going straight into Scott Bain’s left hand corner.
The Second half was very scrappy with great chances for Celtic and Dundee. Paul Hartley’s side squandered an opportunity in the sixty-sixth minute when a poorly defended corner struck Craig Gordon’s post.
After the sixty-seventh light show there seemed to be a lot of action, Scott Sinclair returned for the hoops replacing Mackay-Steven but shortly after Dundee made the break-through when Marcus Haber struck for the Dee.
When Dembele replaced Griffiths in the seventy-seventh minute many chances came to him, he created great space but his final product was again poor.
It looked as though Dundee were going to get an equaliser when El-Bakhtaoui went one-on-one with Gordon only to blast the ball over the bar in the dying embers of the game.
Leigh Griffiths was awarded man of the match with another fantastic performance. Overall, it was a game of two halves with complete Celtic domination in the first and scrappy play in the second. What was important was that yet again Celtic collected three points and are eleven points clear at the top with two games in hand. Not bad.
Declan McConville (@declanmc2000)